Eat Your Greens
By Scott Sharot
I can't think of a more delicious way to eat your greens during the hot summer months than rolling up your own delicious version of goi cuon (Vietnamese summer rolls). Loosely translated, goi cuon means salad roll. It's perfect for summer. This is one dish you can get really creative with. You can use shrimp, pork or tofu and a wide range of greens, sprouts and herbs; it's your call. These babies are not that difficult to master, it just takes some practice. I would advise getting an extra package of the wrappers on your first try. If you want hands-on help, call Talin Market at 268-0206 and sign up for my cooking classes, Asian Favorites (May 10) and Wraps and Rolls (June 2).
Serve them with a dipping sauce made with a little hoisin, water, hot sauce, peanut butter and chopped peanuts.
1 package Banh Trang Sieu Mong (Vietnamese spring roll skins)
4 cups cooked rice vermicelli noodles
Lots of greens and herbs of your choice; for instance: 6 fresh mint leaves, 1/2 cup of fresh Tai Basil leaves, 12 red leaf lettuce leaves in julienne strips, 10 stems garlic chives, 1 cup mung bean sprouts, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
16 cooked and cleaned medium shrimp which have been sliced in half lengthwise
1) Start by soaking the wrappers in hot water. When they soften, remove and carefully place on a damp paper towel and cover each one with a damp paper towel in layers.
2) Lay out the first wrapper, line up 4 pieces of shrimp on the lower third of the wrapper.
3) Continue to add the other ingredients (greens, herbs, sprouts and a handful of rice noodles, etc.) working away from yourself making sure you lightly tamp down as you go (don't add too many ingredients since you have to roll the whole thing up).
4) Roll edges of the wrapper up and over ingredients, turning under the ingredients and pressing it into a cylindrical shape. Fold in the sides tightly and continue rolling. Press seam to close, and let dry.
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